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Basketball

i once asked a therapist
one i continued to see out of resignation
too lazy to find a new one
why i was so hard to medicate
 
it's because you have so many things wrong with you!!
she laughed glibly
not a trace of shame
for such a hideous remark
 
maybe i did have a lot of things wrong with me
 
but maybe i didn't
 
for a while i was seeing both a psychologist
and a psychiatrist
within the same practice
i thought of the psychiatrist
a heavyset man from India
as the drug fairy
he had a busy practice
gave me dull textbook responses
but I could request any drug from him  
and get it
 
for a while i requested Ambien
not because it helped my chronic insomnia
but because i loved staying awake on it
happy zombie cartoonland
was an interesting place
a softer reality
one rife with possibility
 
one ambien night  
around 3:00 AM
I thought i was in an iron chef competition
in the morning (less than four hours sleep)
I woke to find a colander  
full of barely blanched spaghetti
and a horrid variety of opened cans, bludgeoned vegetables and spilled flour
i suppose were going to comprise a sauce
 
i also sent late night emails
on ambien
semi-porn missives to exboyfriends
one giving lurid details
of how i missed our steamy showers  
it built to a fever pitch
before ending in iwaotnwerp-[
 
his response: are you okay?
i didn't answer
 
i stopped ambien
switched to a different therapist
her office was in a posh part of town
great view
luxurious furniture
she was in love with her shoes
expensive designer heels
she twirled her slim ankles this way and that
gazing at her fashionably shod feet
managing to tell me she thought i was hor MO nal
in a nasal whine
that could peel paint off a wall
 
i think she gave me prozac
wellbutrin?
strattera
who knows
i've tried them all
she said it was possible i had bipolar 2
characterized by irritability and anger instead of mania (what a ripoff)
lithium's a possibility
she nasaled
but it's known to cause weight gain
she looked me up and down
"i know you certainly don't want that"
 
bitch
 
there were more therapists
more drugs  
two three ten months at a time
they didn't work
or made things worse
 
meanwhile my diet sucked
too much sesame beef
from the Chinese place down the street
sesame beef was an almost comical confluence  
of sugar salt and fat
damn it was good
my sugar cravings were fierce
maybe i was hor MO nal
lots of ice cream
whole bags of those brachs glucose pumpkins around Halloween
 
i walked a lot
and several times a week
i skipped the elevator
trudging nine flights of stairs to my apartment
sometimes rewarding myself with a cigarette
when I got to the top
 
my parents were paying my exclusive health club membership
i'd drag myself there every day
or twice a month
plod along 20 minutes on the treadmill
maybe 30
counting away the minutes
dying of boredom
same with the rowing machine
i hated resetting the seat height and weights
on the machines
which sometimes had droplets  
of other people's sweat
i hated the lockerroom too
skinny naked women on towels
deftly applying curling irons and spray
to create their big late 80's hair
 
in the curtainless showers
one woman vigorously soaped her pussy
alex, i'll take things i don't want to see for 1000
 
i stopped going
kept eating sesame beef and ice cream
walked
but didn't get much aerobic exercise
went without sex or had too much indiscriminate sex
missed the boyfriend i should have married
took one jazzercise class
hated it
 
decades passed
 
two and a half years ago
i moved into an apartment complex with a basketball court
i went to target
bought a basketball
like i knew i'd been waiting my life for this
hit the court
by myself
shot baskets  
no, not hoops
i'm postmenopausal and nerdy
i shot baskets
and when i missed
i ran after the ball
 
half an hour would fly by
soon an hour
whole muscle groups hurt
my body waking up
becoming toned
or at least more toned
i loved it
 
i increased my time on the court
a true addict
when I developed vertigo
from all the looking up at the hoop
i didn't care
i countered it with the exercises my doctor gave me
 
i hit the court at noon today
i've moved into a new place
so i was at one of the city parks i play in
it was 102 degrees
no shade
50 minutes running around
86% aerobic activity
according to my fitbit
i guess that's good
 
i've gotten compliments
from people watching me play
maybe they are refraining from adding
'for your age'  
after telling me i'm good
maybe the 20 year old guy
i went one on one with
lost because he was a crappy athlete
maybe i look stupid on the court
red faced and sweaty
running around like an idiot in the arizona sun
 
i don't care
 
playing basketball  
makes me healthier
and happier than any drug
it even makes me feel
like i have a lot of things about me
that are right
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pinkdreams
Written by Pinkdreams
Published | Edited 11th Jun 2022
Author's Note
About a week ago, a 50-ish woman came up to me and told me I was inspiring her. I strongly encouraged her to get a basketball. I hope she does.
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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